Looking for some staycation ideas? How about a day in Travelers Rest? Kidding Around Greenville contributor Lindy Wilson ventured out and about on her own personal Staycation to Travelers Rest. This quaint town offers shopping, parks, restaurants and more!
So maybe your budget (or perhaps even just your sanity) doesn’t permit for a full out family vacation this year. The trend of “staycationing” is still one many families enjoy. We are fortunate because there are tons of great spots within a short drive of the Upstate! Today I’ll focus on one area just a little north of Greenville, but be sure to dig around our archives for even more staycation ideas. The website is loaded with pieces such as weekend itinerary ideas or western NC day trips or SC day trip ideas.
About Travelers Rest
A few months ago, we headed to Travelers Rest, which we had driven through before but never really checked out. It’s very hip and you can make a day of it just exploring Main Street. So get out those strollers or tie on those baby carriers! (We choose the carrier for our baby while the four year old had to bear heavily enforced hand holding.)
We started TR with the Whistle Stop Cafe and of course fried green tomatoes. The cafe is charming- lots of memorabilia and decor along with a staff that was eager to greet us. The fried tomatoes, which I believe were my first ever, were amazing. The kids tried a little but preferred the kids menu, which wait for it – was written on a Dinosaur TRAIN coloring sheet! After many train pictures, we ventured out to find other spots.
This particular outing was for the Greenville Crawl so we were eating just a course or two per stop. That meant we still had room to try the nearby Sidewall Pizza! You could try your own version of a crawl or just take a different path to space out lunch, snack and dinner breaks. There were a few stores across the road we would have checked out if we had more time. The Whistle Stop Cafe also is right along the Swamp Rabbit Trail! There is also Gateway, Poinsett and Trailblazer park so consider adding those in to get out some wiggles! You could also check out the TR Farmer’s Market too. There is also a baby store specializing in natural products – Modern Cloth!
As I was saying, we immediately came upon Sidewall Pizza. Now originally we weren’t going to go but as we had time, we decided to check it out. Oh my gosh – pizza loaded with local meat! Thin flaky but not crackery crust! YUM! The kicker was homemade mint cookie and cream ice cream, my husband’s two favorite flavors in one! I was delighted that it was a light spearmint taste, and you can guess how the kids felt about pizza and ice cream! We’re also very excited about their birthday club for free pizza.
Next we wandered further down “the other Main street” here in downtown Travelers Rest to the Tandem Creperie. Not wanting to get too full, we got their Orange Rosemary Spritzer and a cafe americano. Daddy, my photographer extraordinaire, didn’t share his coffee but the spritzer was great. Very different but good! The baby and the big girl nearly drank it all! The shop itself was the epitome of hipster cool. It took a second for me to figure out why they had a tandem bicycle:) There was also patio seating which you might find better for kids.
In addition to some great restaurants in Travelers Rest, there were tons of local boutiques. This included Carolina Bee Company‘s store front AND Copperhead Mountain Moonshine, both of which we stopped in and were offered free samples. The honey was fun with various creamed flavors- chocolate, blackberry and cinnamon. The owner was busy but kind and made sure my baby was old enough for honey. Watch little hands as they do have some gorgeous but breakable pottery items. In case you didn’t know, raw local honey has many health benefits, including helping with seasonal allergies which is great for when it “pollens” here and all of Greenville is coated in yellow!
As a nice stop for us parents, the Copperhead distillery was awesome. We only had two samples each as the kids were with us and all, but they were more than willing to let us sample more. Moonshine is something new to us. Out west where we’re from, we didn’t see much of it though we aren’t much of drinkers anyways, especially not hard liquor. It seems sweeter than rum and I love its history. This particular business, like many in TR, is family owned and we met both the owner and his grown daughter. It’s also situated fairly center in the Main Street stretch making it a convenient stop.
Last but not least was Shortfield’s. It’s a quaint little place with an impressive menu. We got there right as they were filling up for dinner so we ordered quickly as not to be ”campers”- humus, brownie stack, and tartlets in addition to a generous bread basket (a life saver for impatient little ones!). They also had a nice patio set up for those interested. Even the kids liked their humus, which was smoky and not your common everyday chickpea puree. The brownie stack was baked just right, fudgy but yet crumbly. Our oldest didn’t like the tartlets but we enjoyed them. All in all it was a great way to spend a long afternoon.
What’s your favorite thing about Travelers Rest?